Alberta's Wildrose party proposes lottery scheme to help fund new NHL arenas

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EDMONTON - Alberta's Wildrose party has come up with a lottery scheme that it hopes will skate around the politics of funding new NHL hockey arenas in Edmonton and Calgary.

The idea is to expand a digital lottery called Keno into 1,000 bars and pubs across the province and to use much of the proceeds to help pay for the new facilities.

Wildrose Leader Danielle Smith says about $20 million per year would flow to each city, not directly to the Edmonton Oilers or Calgary Flames organizations.

Smith says the Keno lottery would help deal with the $100-million funding shortfall facing the problem-plagued Edmonton arena proposal without using tax dollars.

She says the plan recognizes how important the arenas are to each city's economy.

Smith acknowledges the Keno proposal won't pay off without the support of the National Hockey League teams, the two cities and the Alberta government.

Organizations: National Hockey League, Edmonton Oilers, Calgary Flames

Geographic location: Alberta, EDMONTON, Calgary

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